American rapper Kanye West has kicked off his campaign tour for the US presidential election at an event in Charleston, South Carolina.
West took the stage in a bulletproof vest and shaved his head with the numbers 2020. He delivered his speech without a microphone to a noisy audience of a few hundred people, asking for total silence before claiming that future events “will be in rooms where the acoustics will be amazing” because he himself will be involved in the design.
The rapper repeatedly referred to the terms of his deal with Adidas, his faith in God, and racism in America. He declared that the abolitionist “Harriet Tubman never really freed the slaves, only made the slaves go to work for other whites.”
The subject of abortion caused her great emotion. West started crying when he recounted that his father wanted his mother to abort when she was pregnant with him.
“My mom saved my life. There would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy,” he said, almost sobbing.
He also told a story about what he believed was divine intervention in his life when his wife, Kim Kardashian, refused to terminate her pregnancy.
“Even if my wife divorced me after this speech, she brought North into the world when I didn’t want to. She stood up and protected that girl,” he revealed. “I almost killed my daughter!”
He said he understands “why someone would make the decision to abort” and finally clarified that his position was not that abortion should be prohibited, but rather that maximum financial assistance should be available to women who have children.
“My position is not to make abortion illegal at all. It should always be legal. But there should be a maximum increase available … The one that has a baby, that receives a million dollars,” he proposed without specifying where would that money come from.
West’s speech, which he had to shout most of the time to be heard by the crowd, repeatedly focused on his Christianity.
“We are all equal in the eyes of God,” he said. “Sometimes people are controlled by demons, sometimes people are controlled by the environment we are in, but we are all God’s people, there are no bad people. There are lost people, but we are all God’s people,” added.
Also at the meeting, West discussed weapons that “don’t kill people” and later added that “people kill people.”
Referring to the media coverage of the event, he stated: “They are going to publish this, they are going to say that I am crazy. Well, the world is crazy!” He also revealed that he does not care if he becomes president or not.
The event lasted about an hour and ended after West was substantially silenced by the screaming crowd.
West announced his intention to run for president on July 4, but failed to meet the deadline to qualify for the vote in several states. He finally managed to qualify to appear on the Oklahoma presidential vote, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline.